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Decay

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Everything in the universe decays over time if it is not visited or used. Commodities dropped on the ground will decay, unless placed on Static Display. Spacecraft slowly decay when they are without a captain or officer. Cities decay when they become deserted. Even whole solar systems can decay and revert back to their original state.

Sector Decay

Sector decay occurs when the master server is restarted, which happens at unscheduled intervals. At that time, certain maintenance processes can be safely and reliably run on the universe database, before any other activity is permitted.

Sectors are examined at that time to remove the ones that are not needed. A sector where every solar system exists in a star-field-only state is eligible for decay, unless it is a perimeter sector.

A perimeter sector is one that is needed to provide the star field around a sector that contains a fully generated solar system.

Solar System Decay

Solar systems initially exist in a star-field-only state. Such solar systems contain a bare minimum of data.

The contents of a solar system are generated when needed.

A solar system will decay if it has no units, spacecraft or buildings for over a week and isn't on an active avatar's land.

When a solar system decays, it reverts to a star-field-only state. It retains little more than its name. All data associated with individual worlds and suns is lost, such as names and claims.

When a solar system regenerates after having decayed, it will generate as it did the first time it was generated. This means that if a world was destroyed by an asteroid before the solar system decayed, it will appear again when it is regenerated.

Solar systems never decay if they contain a ringworld.

City Decay

Cities and buildings both can decay.

Building abandonment begins three days after: 1) an avatar on line was last present in its solar system or 2) it stops being protected by the land designation of an avatar.

Probability of decay increases as the negative morale modifier from abandonment increases.

Up to three abandoned buildings in a city will decay at each city report cycle. Decayed buildings are listed on the city report. When a building decays due to abandonment, it is completely destroyed. Decay conforms to city build rules so bases will decay before cities, on any given world.

The final city report from a decaying city does not expire in the mail queue. It is marked with a highlighted icon.

City Abandonment

The most common cause of city decay is abandonment, if the solar system containing it isn't protected by a land designation and an avatar hasn't visited in at least three days.

For more information, see the Abandonment page.

Spacecraft Decay

Environmental Decay

Spacecraft slowly decay in the form of environmental damage when left abandoned in unsuitable environments.

If a spacecraft is inside an atmosphere it will very slowly take damage from the environment reported as weather corrosion. This includes worlds with no atmosphere density, such as moons, but it is instead reported as meteor hits. Severity of corrosion damage is based on the type of the atmosphere and its density.

A spacecraft in space without capacitor power will be unable to withstand the cold void of space. It will slowly take meteor damage until the hull fails.

A spacecraft sitting in visible liquid takes corrosion damage based upon the type of liquid.

When a spacecraft is completely submerged, atmosphere damage is not applied.

To prevent environmental decay:

Officer Homesickness

NPC officers need an empire city on their homeworld. If all cities on an officer's homeworld are lost, either to decay or captured by an enemy empire, the officer will commit suicide after a week.

When committing suicide, the commanding officer will self-destruct the spacecraft on which he is stationed, unless there is another officer or captain on the spacecraft's roster. An officer who is not in command (does not have the con), will not self-destruct the ship.

Item Decay

Items dropped on the ground will decay slowly, taking ??? durability damage every ???. The decay is significantly increased when there is no online avatar near the item.

Items placed on Static Display will not decay, and they will even stay on a ship after it has been respawned.